Fluvial & Coastal Geomorphology

Riparian Engineering provides specialist advice in fluvial  and coastal geomorphology. We are experts at linking  the geomorphic form and behaviour of rivers and coast with  geotechnical, hydrology, hydo-dynamic modelling, and morphological assessments. We can advise our clients how to best manage and engineer the morphology of channels, floodplains, wetlands, estuaries and coastlines. We can also determine the existing and future pressures that will be placed on riparian and coastal lands due to human development, climate change and sea level rises.

Fluvial Geomorphology services include:

  • Catchment geology
  • Physical classification of rivers using techniques such as River Styles™
  • Terrain modelling (LiDAR) terrain analysis to determine morphological units
  • Morphological & bathymetric form of channels and floodplains
  • Bedload sediment transport
  • Hydrology and channel & floodplain hydraulics
  • Bed and bank erosion assessments
  • Morpho-stratigraphic assessment of river bed and bank sediments
  • Geomorphic evolution of the river sediments
  • Carbon dating sediment layers
  • Historical channel changes
  • Geotechnical assessment of bank sediments
  • Riparian vegetation and the interaction with fluvial geomorphology

Coastal Geomorphology services include:  (also see coastal estuarine processes)

  • Research on coastal morphology to your local area
  • Estuarine and coastal sediments transport
  • Terrain analysis of estuaries of coast and geomorphic mapping (LiDAR)
  • Near shore coastal sediment transport
  • Coastal Hazard assessments (Victorian coastal hazard assessments)
  • Beach erosion and coastal hazard assessments (NSW coastal hazard assessments)
  • Wave mechanics and beach foreshore changes
  • Estuarine and coastal geomorphic classification using Oz Coast classification method
  • Research on sea level changes through out the Holocene
  • Morphological assessment of estuarine and coastal geomorphic units
  • Geotechnical assessment of sediments
  • Bathymetric modelling
  • Ground penetrating radar investigations
  • Tsunami research and investigation





Bank erosion of a gravel bed river caused by channel bed erosion, and a localized increase in bed slope and velocity.


2 pw Water course cross section copy
Morphostratigraphic profile of middle valley reach (partly confined) water course showing location of a watercourse with respect to the definition of a ‘watercourse’ under the Water Act 2000, Queensland.



Evolutionary sequence in channel degradation (bed and bank erosion) and specification of restoration targets that can be implemented to arrest erosion.



2pw plan views_Page_1
Mapped channel geomorphic units and channel bathymetry. The location of restoration works to arrest bed and bank erosion.


Historical channel changes. The image shows a major channel avulsion form the north channel to the south channel in 1967.


Anabranching River  (Murray River Catchment)

Anabranching River (Murray River Catchment)

Catchment geology (river style setting) laterally unconfined anbranching river (Murray River). The form and function of the river is strongly controlled by channel and floodplain hydraulics, the deposition of sediment, riparian vegetation. Note multiple channel, anabranches, oxbows.

mud-core-2Marine sands hit at -3.5m AHD